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Constellation: newly off meds


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Hi. About me:

Female, married, no children, 50s

30 years on psych meds

Dx: bipolar 1 w psychotic features, PTSD, GAD, panic disorder

At initial dx, I tried idk maybe 25 cocktails, did ECT. Hallucinations stopped but the other symptoms remained.

I stuck w just nefazodone for about 10ish years. Then risperdal was added for another 15 years. Neither med helped.

Late 2019, I fell apart for reasons unknown to me. Completely hit a wall. Hallucinations came back, severe panic and anxiety, depression, ultra rapid cycling,  stopped working.

Since, I've done maybe another 20 cocktails. No change. Have only slept thru the night maybe 20 out of the last 1000 nights.

I decided to give up the meds. Only continue w Xanax prn (have for 30 years) because it's the only med that does its job.

Started coming off the meds in December. There have been some external stressors during this time (intractable migraine, failed back surgery, hubby ill, etc). So that has to be taken into account.

But. I. Feel. Horrible.

A new horrible. A worse horrible. 

I can't say I know what "normal" is for me. Heavy drug user in late teens, a period of abstinence, then BOOM severe pysch issues.

What I do know is that I can't find the tiniest bit of pleasure in anything. I've lost 30 lbs unintentionally (much needed). I'm ferociously angry and irritable. Ive been thru some ish in my life and always held on to hope. No more. Not an ounce of it. I have contemplated and planned my suicide many, many times over these last months. But the last few weeks have been the worst by far.

I stopped driving due to my mental health in 2019. I live in a new, small town w no transportation, resources, friends or family.

Have tried many therapists the last 2.5 years and they were useless.

Still have telemed w my psych nurse EOW. I cxd this week. She can't help me.

Mental illness was lonely enough. This is a whole new ball game.

I do have a 1st appt w an integrative medicine joint Monday. Thought maybe they can help w things like nutrition and supplements. I haven't exercises in several years, smoke cigarettes and live on candy, ice cream and buttered bagels. Yeah, that's not helping.

Glad I found this place, if even just to know that I'm not as alone as I thought.




Stop Sapphris December 2021 (abrupt)

Stop Viibryd April 2022 (8 wk taper)

Stop Lamotrogine May 2022 (1 week taper)

--30 yr psych meds history--

Current: Xanax, gabapentin, Qulipta







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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Constellation: newly off meds
  • Administrator

Welcome, @Constellation


It sounds like you have gone off some number of psychiatric drugs within the last 2 years, is that correct? If so, you may be suffering from protracted withdrawal from any of them. 


While you were on various drugs for years, you may have had adverse reactions to dosage changes or drug changes that were interpreted as psychiatric symptoms. Those adverse reactions may have contributed to your present symptom pattern.


Protracted withdrawal can include symptoms such as emotional anesthesia, sometimes interpreted as anhedonia or "depression"; a deep depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. How's your sleep now?


Long-term benzo use can also cause "depression"-like symptoms and fatigue. How often do you use Xanax, at what dosages?


Please add the month and year started dosages to the drugs in your signature.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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